Boom Blox Review for the Nintendo Wii

Boom Blox Review for the Nintendo Wii

Nintendo Wii was made with casual gamers in mind: gaming doesn’t just belong to males of ages 15-35 anymore. The gaming industry is doing nothing but grow because of that, and video games are becoming widely accepted. What else could we ask for? It’s true there are too many casual games out there, and some of them are terrible; however, we should be happy to find such a variety of games that are appealing to all ages: parents, kids, grandpas, and grandmas can play together. I’d place Boom Blox in this category.

Boom Blox screenshot

When EA and Spielberg partnered up, the famous director was hoping to create a video game that he could play and enjoy with his kids. All we can say is: you got that right!

I got the game not knowing what to expect from it. I had read a bit about it and thought the game looked cute. But who knew I was going to have such a blast with it? Truth be told, I haven’t devoted that much time to a game since I got Mario Kart Wii!

Boom Blox is a fun and simple game that will keep you entertained for hours on end. It’s a mix between playing Legos, Jenga, and throwing stuff at your next-door neighbor. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Just be sure not to throw too hard or you’ll be sore the next day.

This game includes a handful of play modes. First of all, there’s Adventure Mode: hand-drawn, animated cutscenes will tell the story of the poor Bahhhs! (sheep) who were protecting the precious gems from the scary Brrrrrs! (bears) and ended up getting them stolen by the naughty Babadoos (monkeys). The story continues with the appearance of numerous zany characters like raccoons, gorillas, cows, beavers, cats, penguins, pandas, dogs, chickens, and more. The characters are all shaped like dominoes, and the backgrounds are inspired by medieval times, the jungle, the Wild West, Halloween, etc.

Boom Blox screenshot

In between the story-telling, players will be challenged with puzzles one has to solve by throwing balls at a tower of blocks (trying to destroy everything), extracting blocks from a Jenga-style tower or hitting just the right spot to bring everything down like falling dominoes. These are just a few of the game’s challenges, but the game is full of variety.

Every time you beat a level with bronze, silver or gold, you’ll be rewarded with items for the Create Mode. There’s a whole lot to unlock, from different kinds of blocks to funky weapons and balls, characters, backgrounds, etc.

Boom Blox screenshot

The challenge mode is another compilation of puzzles and shooting galleries you can play without going through the main story. All the challenges are different, and as you advance through the game you’ll open up new difficulty levels. It starts pretty easy, but later on it gets complicated, especially if you’re always aiming for the gold, which usually requires one perfect throw.

The game controls pretty well most of the time. You’ll just point at where you want to shoot, hold the A button, perform a throwing motion, and let go of the button (not the controller!). When the stage requires you to pull pieces out of a tower, you’ll just point at the piece, hold A, and pull in the desired direction. I did find a few problems with the controls, however; the Wii remote will go crazy every now and then, and the cursor will disappear from the screen for a few seconds until you shake the controller to regain focus. This was especially frustrating when performing chain reactions where you launch the blocks in the air and then try to blast a bomb that’s still floating. This problem didn’t hinder the gameplay too much, but it was definitely noticeable and annoying.

Boom Blox screenshot

Boom Blox contains over 300 different puzzles that should keep your brain busy for a while. To top it off, there is a solid local multiplayer mode where you can play with or against your friends. There’s everything from quick challenges to party-style competitions. The controls are so intuitive any player can join the fun. I’d say it’s a good alternative to Wii Sports, despite that they’re such different games.

The Create Mode fits a game like this perfectly; with the level builder you can create and modify your own levels at any time. As you unlock new items for the editor, your stages will become more complex and interesting. The editor is really easy to use and works much like the building mode in The Sims. In fact I’ll dare say it’s better than the level creator found in Super Smash Bros. Brawl! If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, you’ll be able to share your stages with friends via WiiConnect24.

The awards section is another bag full of goodies: you can unlock videos with all the cutscenes, bonus characters, tools, and extra challenges. Luckily, the developers didn’t skimp; you can tell the production values are high. Perhaps that’s why the game is sold at full price, which may be a little steep for some.

Boom Blox screenshot

The game in general is very cute, and the cutscenes should be appealing for both kids and adults, as long as they can appreciate an old-school cartoon. It looks kids-oriented, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing for a family game like this. A few more animations would have been nice though, as the cutscenes seem too short and simplified.

Another area where the game excels is the soundtrack. We’re used to nice and varied soundtracks in most EA games, however, you can’t expect as much from a game like this. Players will be pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of catchy melodies in the style of those found in The Sims. The sound effects are also very satisfying: almost everything on the screen is interactive and makes a sound. You can even grab the blocks on the menu interface and move them around; granted this wasn’t necessary, but it’s small touches like this that make games that much better.

If you’re looking for a fun and laid-back game you can enjoy by yourself or with company, Boom Blox seems to be the one. Of course there are many other choices out there, but this game deserves your attention at least. It may look like Jenga, but there’s much more to it, and the game mechanics are quite good.

Destruction and explosion effects are cool and eye-popping, character design is neat, and cutscenes are made up of nicely animated drawings. 3.7 Control
The gameplay is very intuitive and works great most of the time. However, your Wii remote will go crazy once in a while for no reason. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The animal characters sound extremely cute, and the background music will remind you of the chill melodies from The Sims games. 4.4

Play Value
It’s amazing how much there’s to do in this title: lots of levels, gameplay styles, multiplayer options, and a good level editor. It’s a box full of surprises!

4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Throw, grab, and blast – Use fun action gestures with the Wii remote to cause strategic destruction in levels like Tiki-Tower-Topple and Medieval Mayhem.
  • Over 300 Brain-Busting Challenges.
  • Fast-paced Multiplayer Action – Play with or against your friends in co-op, versus, or 4-player games.
  • Make It Your Own – Unlock characters, worlds, blocks, and props throughout the game and use to build whatever you can imagine in Create Mode. Remix any level and share what you create with friends via WiiConnect24.
  • Over 30 Wacky Blox Characters – Tackle the action and interact with a cast of entertaining characters including animals like a chicken that lays bomb blocks and a beaver that likes to make them explode.
  • Up to 480p (Progressive Scan, Widescreen).

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